With the rich assortment of foods and flavors available in Nigeria, one should be able to cook as many cross-cultural dishes as possible. There are loads of tasty Nigerian recipes available both online and in cookbooks that should be eaten at least once in a lifetime. In reality – you will actually go back to eat such foods because they are irresistible.
Avail yourself the opportunity of getting quality Nigerian recipes from trusted sources. And start enjoying the delight of authentic, Nigerian nutrition-dense foods that are a delight to the soul. You will not regret sampling the rich flavors and spices of some tasty meals cooked across the nation.
The Iconic Jollof Rice: Nigerian Edition
Jollof rice is a popular and rich West African dish that has become a standard meal in parties across Nigeria. It consists of rice cooked in a rich mix of peppers, onions, tomatoes, seasoning and spices. It is often served with fried plantain, moin-moin, meat, fish and vegetable salad.
Nigerian Fried Rice
Yet another popular and equally rich rice meal is fried rice. It differs from Jollof rice, in that the tomatoes are omitted. Or rather replaced with a mix of other vegetables and animal protein stir-fried into the rice. Additives often include peas, sweet corn, carrots, red and yellow bell peppers, beef liver, diced meat, chicken, shrimps and prawns. It is well seasoned and cooked with a mix of spices.
Native Jollof Rice/Palm Oil Rice
Ever heard of the native Jollof rice? While vegetable oil is used to prepare normal Jollof rice, native Jollof rice is cooked with palm oil. Otherwise the ingredients could well be the same. However, it is not uncommon to find smoked fish, locust bean (Iru) and chopped spinach being mixed into native Jollof rice.
Rice and Beans
Boiled rice is often cooked separately and served with stew (and other foods). However, cooking rice and beans together in one pot is also a nutritious option. It can be served with any nice stew, protein, and fried plantain as well.
Ewa Riro (Stewed Beans)
Bean stew (or stewed beans) is quite a common Nigerian meal. It is quite easy to prepare; and is often cooked with common ingredients such as palm oil, ground pepper, onions, crayfish, and seasoning. You may add dried/smoked fish and/or meat, if you so desire.
A variation of the classic bean stew is ‘Ewa agonyin’ – super-softened and mashed beans served with hot pepper stew. Mashed beans is a West African meal imported into Nigeria. In any case, your cooked beans can be served with bread, cassava flakes (garri), fried plantain, boiled/fried yams or potatoes.
When mentioning the names of classic soups and stews in Nigeria, Egusi soup must not be omitted. This super-versatile and rich soup is made from ground melon seeds. It may be cooked in palm oil along with pepper and onions (and optionally tomatoes), seasoning, Iru, crayfish, meat, fish and/or vegetables.
As such there are several varieties of Egusi soup – which include the vegetable Egusi, watery Egusi Ijebu, and Lumpy Egusi stew. It goes well with any semi-solid food or swallow (Eba, fufu, pounded yam, yam/cassava flour, etc) and even rice.
Efo Riro (Spinach stew)
Efo is a family consisting of several species of spinach. Efo riro is spinach stew. It is made with chopped/sliced spinach cooked with pepper, onions and/or tomatoes; and any animal protein of your choice. It is an equally versatile stew which can be served with rice, bread, and semi-solid food.
Beef stew is perhaps one of the most common and quick-fix stews you can easily make in Nigeria. A classical blend of pepper, onions and tomatoes, soft-boiled beef is added into the mix. It is also common to find fried and/or smoked fish and boiled eggs being added along with the beef. It tastes so good that it can be served with bread, rice, swallows, couscous and more.
You can as well replace the beef in beef stew with chicken – it is super-tasty. Chicken stew is often served with rice and spaghetti, but it can go with any other stew to enrich your favorite swallow meal.
One of the commonest street foods in Nigeria is the Nigerian rock buns. It is made out of wheat flour, milk, sugar, margarine and baking powder. It is thereafter fried in hot vegetable oil. It is a tasty snack you need to get used to.
Puff Puff is another common Nigerian street snack – call it a variation of the rock buns. Instead of using baking powder (as leavening agent), yeast is added to the wheat flour. Along with sugar and a few other ingredients (sometimes fish flakes and sliced peppers are added), it is deep-fried in hot vegetable oil. It is as simple as it is tasty, and can go with any drink of your choice.
Two other variations of Puff Puff are the Plantain Puff Puff (in which plantain is added to it) and the Spicy Puff Puff (with spices added to it, to reduce its sweetness).
Pounded yam is indeed the king of foods. This swallow meal is made from matured, soft-boiled yam pounded with pestle and mortar, until smooth. Modern homes now make use of food processors or yam pounders to prepare it. It comes out fluffy and soft; and it came be served with any rich Nigerian stew of your choice.
Yam Pottage/Porridge (Asaro)
Yam porridge is a rich mix of boiled yam cooked with palm oil, peppers, onions, seasoning, and palm oil. Optionally beans, smoked/dried fish, crayfish, and/or chopped vegetables may be added to it. Some folks serve it with beef stew, and/or fried plantain. It can be a very satisfying meal.
Moin-moin is bean pudding – a steamed mix of blended beans, peppers, onion, spices, seasoning and palm oil (or vegetable oil). Sometimes chopped meat, flaked fish, boiled eggs and/or crayfish may be added to it. It may be served as the main meal along with garri or bread. Or it may accompany party dishes such as fried or Jollof rice.
Akara (Bean cakes/fritters)
Akara has generally the same ingredients as moin-moin – although they are often fewer. It is simply beans blended with onions, pepper, and salt – those are the standard ingredients. It is then deep-fried as small balls in vegetable oil. This tasty yet simple snack is often served with bread, garri, fried yam or potatoes.
Banga soup is palm nut soup. Rather than buy and use palm oil as a separate ingredient, raw palm nuts are boiled and the oil/juice is used to cook the soup. Different kinds of animal protein, native spices and pepper are added to it to make a rich soup. It typically goes with the well-known Nigerian swallow foods.
Okro is a nutritious vegetable often cooked in blended pepper and onions, palm oil and animal protein all at once. Okro soup is a tasty ‘draw’ (slimy) soup normally served with semi-solid swallows like Eba, Yam/cassava flour, fufu and others. Optionally you can add squeezed bitter leaf or other chopped vegetables to it.
Ogbono soup is a ‘draw’ (slimy) soup made from dried and ground wild mango seeds. It may be cooked with pumpkin leaves (ugwu), crayfish, crayfish, and an assortment of meat and fish. It typically goes with swallow meals.
African Pepper Soup
If you have not sampled the tasty yet spicy West African pepper soup – you are yet to enjoy the best of Nigerian cuisine. You should try it out.
Pepper soup is a mix of peppers and hot spices. A range if anima! Proteins may be added to it – it could be catfish or other fresh fish, goat meat, chicken, beef, or some other animal protein. It’s often served with native palm wine (or any drink of your choice).
Some folks add potatoes or green plantains into the mix. The soup comes out very nutritious and spicy. It is an excellent gourmet food for cold weather. And it is often served in local restaurants, in parties, and during festivities.
Ayamase Stew (Ofada Stew)
The tasty Ofada is a native, unprocessed variety of rice with a special flavor. Ofada is often served with a special stew named ‘Ayamase’ – made of blended green pepper, onions, locust beans, and native spices. Along with an assortment of animal protein, Ayamase stew is very delicious.
Peanut or groundnut soup is a nutritious and well-known West African soup. It is quite easy to cook. Blended groundnuts, peppers and animal protein are used to prepare this tasty soup.
If you need a trusted online platform where you can source for authentic Nigerian recipes, then go no further. Here are a few of the popular food blogs that teach Nigerian cuisine. We encourage you to sample them and have fun while learning:
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